Ruben Mena

Survivor

In Feb. 2013, I underwent laparoscopic surgery for cancer of the colon (colorectal carcinoma). (Sepsis and Cancer, Sepsis and Surgery) The operation seemed successful but the day after surgery I was starting to feel pretty bad. I called my surgeon and was told this happens sometimes and to watch my temperature.

On the fourth day my temp was at 103 and I was vomiting bile (looks like anti-freeze). Luckily my wife ignored my protests and drove me to the emergency room. I was already in renal failure when we walked in. After check-in, blood was drawn and a few hours later I was whisked to emergency surgery where they cleaned out my body cavity. I suffered cardiac arrest while in surgery but luckily the surgeons were encouraged by my vital signs, ran five bags of fluid through my kidneys and were able to jump start them. The doctors and staff were amazed I survived. I regained consciousness in the ICU wearing a colostomy, a plastic bracket on my abdomen and a wound vac. I spent 13 days in the hospital, two days in the ICU.

I was diagnosed with “severe sepsis with acute organ disfunction”. I have experienced many permanent disabilities including multiple organ disfunction and brain damage. I was 59 years old when this occurred and consider myself lucky to be alive.